Volkswagen - Concept A
VW-study shows an avant-garde cross between the sports cars and SUVs of tomorrow
Wolfsburg / Geneva, 28 February 2006
Concept A is driven by the first natural gas twincharger in the world
Crossover combines sports car design with SUV elements
Front part offers a glance at a VW-SUV below the Touareg
Volkswagen presents the world’s first TSI engine (twincharger) powered by natural gas (CNG) as its fuel on the Geneva Auto Salon. The highly efficient 1.4 liter TSI-CNG engine drives the Concept A study. It’s a cross between a sports car and SUV distinguished by a powerful and aesthetic design with excellent all round features.
The 1.4 TSI-CNG is doubled charged via compressor and turbo, performing with 110 kW / 150 hp and reaching its maximum torque at 220 Newton meter. For every hundred kilometers it averages a mere 5.0 kg of natural gas. Highly charged engines like Volkswagen's TSI generally have a very high efficiency degree. In using CNG (compressed natural gas, 130 ROZ) the efficiency improves even more. One of the positive effects: the CO2 balance of TSI-CNG engines improves by another 20 to 25 percent when compared to fuel gas driven TSIs. Furthermore the TSI+CNG presents itself as an important stepping stone towards a mobility technology en route to becoming independent from crude oil. Through conversion from natural gas to synthetic fuel (gas-to-liquids) for instance Synfuel is produced. It is environmentally benign bio-degradable fuel which – among other things – allows the mentioned CCS hybrid combustion process.
But the Concept is not only clean, sporty and economic. But more so the study manifests a new progressive design philosophy. Its front part with a new 3D crest radiator grill made out of brushed aluminum and distinguished head lights form a congenial yet confident progressive appearance. The “face” is well known, just not on an automobile, it looks like the mirror image of a cheetah. The silhouette shows the lines of a coupe. The front and rear doors open facing each other. The carriage overhangs are briskly short, the hood long, the C columns one of a kind. 20 inch alloy rims and 295 tires fill out the space in the distinctively extended wheelhouses.
On the outside the Concept A wears the intensive blue color shade of semi transparent glacier formations – “Glacier Metallic” the name. Mixed in glass flakes increase the depth of the paint built up in the piano lacquer technique. The rear part, with its athletic flanks, imparts a strong elegance. The hatchback is made of two parts; the area under the rear lights lifts up like a pick up loading surface and thus creates a lot of room for big items. At the bottom the motor exhales via two round chrome pipes. The interior presents itself spacious and open. Light and air dominate the space’s feel. If needed, a large soft top can be swerved all the way back to the C column.
CONCEPT A POWER
For the first time Volkswagen switches a double charged motor to natural gas. In the Concept A it would fulfill the emissions norm Euro 5
The study shown in Geneva is powered by a 110 kW (150 hp) strong natural gas Twincharger (TSI), whose motto is “maximum driving pleasure, minimum consumption”. Its power reaches the wheels via a six gear transmission and an all wheel drive 4MOTION. The gas fuel only version of this motor double charged via compressor and turbo – the 1,390 cm3 large TSI with 103 kW / 140 hp will be used in the Touran this spring. This high-tech four cylinder is perfect for being powered by alternative fuels like natural gas. In comparison to gas fuel powered engines the already low CO2 emissions are reduced by a significant 22 percent.
CONCEPT A VISION
The study shown in Geneva is a vision, a fascinating Volkswagen, which should be accessible for as many people as possible
The Concept A is the vision of an ideal Volkswagen. One of many variations of the future. They are all connected by one claim: Volkswagen, like the Concept A, have to be feasible for many customers and meaningfully expand the model spectrum. Today this spectrum ranges from the Fox to the Phaeton. But more and more we will be seeing a fascinating diversity between these columns. CrossPolo, Golf GTI, Golf R32, Eos or the Passat Individual are showing the way. The New Beetle and the New Beetle Convertible were forerunners. The new spectrum between the columns offers a huge potential and includes cars like the clever Caddy Color Concept for families, the wild GX3 for California, the large Multivan Beach for the continental trip and the consistently versatile Eos for every day and every weather of the year.
But that’s not all. A VW sports car also fits between the columns. And an all wheel powered specialist of the Golf class has been on track to go into series for quite some time. As a concentrate of various automobiles, Concept A demonstrates where the optical journey can lead to. The crossover study combines elements of a compact SUV with the lines of a sports car. A designer’s coup de main.
The Concept A visually escorts the Volkswagen brand into the future. Conceptually the design team used a point of attack coming from the ever growing de-fragmentation of the segments. Result: If up till now the SUV’s put the advantages of the steep hatchback in the forefront, the Concept A, with its coupe like rear part, underlines a more classic dynamic. Here the design combines the no compromise elegance of a sports car with the demonstrative robustness of an off road model. A fun machine and high everyday efficiency, a sports car with travel qualities, a coupe with station wagon features. The design of the 4.35 meter long, 1.85 meter wide and 1.55 meter high Concept A in detail.
Imagine this car parked at the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin. A pretty good picture
Here the VW language of the new era, recently continued with the Passat and Eos, finds another courageous step in evolution. Hereby the Concept A shows pure dynamic. Rising lines in the side graphic and the controlled interchange of surfaces and forms, but especially the sensational proportions reflect this dynamic and strength. Whoever moves around the car will always find new exciting modulations and accents; the design of the Concept A literally plays with the light.
The 20 inch wheels with their 295 tires distributed on a wheelbase of 2.6 meters give the impression of strength and power. The radial spoke motive of the rims optically increases the diameter further. The spokes lying on top of each other in two parts continue the dominant theme of 3D and appear to be floating in the rim.
The hood is extremely long, the back extremely short. Compact in any case are the carriage overhangs: In the front the axle is followed by 0.93 meter, in the rear its only 0.82 meter. The volume in between is distinguished by a prominent design element: The strong molding of the side skirts. Its concave transition to the surface is combined with a line at shoulder height. Sillboards, wheel arches and fenders melt to a muscular and excitement loaded form variety. Also applicable: What starts as a discrete line in the front part of the silhouette at the height of the A column, develops towards the rear to a continuously stronger modeled shoulder in the style of very classic and timeless sports cars. Formally described this shoulder line captures the light and gives the C column, which is harmonically combined with the chassis body, its very own graphic of a stretched triangle. Subjectively described, the incomparable C column shows speed and a crisp linkage in the perhaps sharpest and most dynamic rear part of any study ever presented by Volkswagen.
A contrast to the almost sensuous form is the graphic strictness of the door groove. The doors themselves are lined up opposite each other. The reason: the functional advantages of the generous entry and the spectacular picture of the open door wings. There is no room for a B column. Detailed haptical and formal perfection let the door handles of both wings optically appear as one. Its outer surfaces are held in brushed aluminum while the interior surfaces are marked by a polished upper. Because of their form and position the door handles of the Concept A suggest a two door coupe. This impression is enhanced by the roof contours. The flat and stretched black covered roof covers the very low windows of the sports car silhouette.
DESIGN FRONT PART
Cheetahs are athletic, fast animals; the Concept A would be an athletic, fast automobile
Already at first glance the new car communicates in a split second all optical messages over the front part of the automobile. In the front, the design of the Concept A shows a new evolutionary step Volkswagen’s crest radiator grill. The V theme, known among others from the Golf GTI and Passat, incorporates the grill as an integral element in the sculpture. Clearly drawn out it eludes itself of the reservations of a homogenous surface and leaps forward with a balanced concentration of aggression. In the lower area however, the grill dodges behind a filigree body colored crossbeam. This picture resembles a wild cat, a Cheetah, fast, athletic, concentrated, not without desire to attack but also familiar.
The slightly slanted headlights, the eyes of this cat underline the exceptional confident appearance of the Concept A. A trapeze shaped head light element is interrupted by Volkswagen’s characteristic circle, famous since the early days of the Beetle. LEDs catapult the traditional motive of the round headlights into the future. The frame for the grille and headlights are formed by the bumper elements on the side, which in the lower continuation, visually take the V theme of the entire front part to the top level. This V stretches from the under carriage protection, over the crest radiator grill and the hood with its power domes, all the way to the A columns.
Just like the soft top of a classic Roadster, the roof rises slightly over the comparatively low and steep front window. The aluminum outside space of the A columns give the front window as well as the roof optical support. In their graphic effect, dominantly designed through the material change they form an essential design characteristic of the Concept A.
DESIGN REAR PART
Who says a Coupe can’t be a pick up and a SUV can’t be a sports car? No one!
As outlined the hatchback of the Concept A is two part. The lower part can be opened independently and just like a pick up can stay open for the transport of long items. The top part: The outside lying hinges are not only a symbol for functionality and solidity they are also a technical requirement for the distinguished flow of the coupe like roof contour. The hatchback, with its large window and the flat angle, reiterates a classic sports car design element.
In their graphic, the rear lights take up a, for this day and age, typical VW design element. The circle and the trapeze. New however is the again three dimensional design of the rear lights and that they are an integral part of the breathtaking shoulder of this study. At the bottom the motor exhales via two round chrome pipes.
Everything light and airy, no overloading of the instruments; on good days the folding roof turns the Concept A into a convertible
Light and air dominate the space’s feel. A large soft top can be swerved all the way back to the C column if needed. In its conception the interior is of an astounding clarity. The four bucket seats offer optimum ergonomic attributes, nonetheless they build space saving. The cockpit and middle console are separate independent areas that were created solitaire, free of compromises of a forced connection.
In its volume and formal specification, the middle console already embodies a formal connection to motor and transmission. The gear shift knob is positioned ideally. So that while driving the right hand forms a direct line to the strength flow between motor, transmission and all wheel drive. The completely reduced design of the cockpit, however, appears to be floating in the room. A central round instrument allows for concentrating on essentials. Standing out is the formal integration of the climate exhaust which intentionally are used as a dominant design element. Their large space grid structure carries functional elements like the Multi-Media-Interface.
The future of the interior design is accompanied by a non judgmental handling of the different materials from all provenances. The familiar re-interpreted mixed provocatively with pure innovation. Already the names are proof of courage and fantasy: The fixtures are covered with black patent leather named “Black Reflection” the applications magnesium painted in “Frozen Ice”. The doors as well as other interior lining parts again turn to the colors “Black Reflection” and “Frozen surface” (black nubuk leather and silver applications). The light middle lanes of the seats are upholstered with the high tech fabric “Antarctica”, a half transparent and extremely breathable fiber. The sitting cheeks and leg rests are then again decorated with black smooth and suede leather. That leaves the carpet in the light tone “Ice Crystal” which says it all.